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Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 17:53 GMT
Royal butler trial adjourned
Paul Burrell
Paul Burrell is charged with stealing over 300 items
The trial of Paul Burrell, the former butler to Diana, Princess of Wales, has been adjourned in circumstances which remain a mystery.

The judge, Mrs Justice Rafferty, told the jury to go home on Tuesday without giving them any explanation.

She advised the seven men and five women jurors to telephone the court in the evening to find out whether it would be sitting the following day. But they were subsequently informed it was not.

The unexpected move came as the prosecution case against Mr Burrell was in its latter stages.

The former butler, 44, of Farndon, Cheshire, denies stealing 310 items from Diana, Princess of Wales, the Prince of Wales and Prince William.

'Slight delay'

The last prosecution witnesses were expected to give evidence before the defence case began later this week.

But following a short delay on Tuesday morning, the judge called in the panel shortly before 1100 GMT.

She told them: "Don't get too comfortable. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry there has been a slight delay.

"We can't sit today. I'm going to send you away now."

But she gave no further explanation.

It is the second time his trial has ground to an abrupt halt. Only two weeks ago the first jury was dismissed for legal reasons.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's June Kelly
"Paul Burrell's trial will not resume tomorrow"

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25 Oct 02 | Scotland
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